Posey County residents are in favor of SMART solar development. NOT using prime agricultural land currently being farmed and surrounding resident’s homes.

It is standard practice for solar power companies to offer landowners a “Good Neighbor Agreement”. The non-participating landowners feel like this is hush money.

T E N A S K A, the solar developer proposing this project, has been sending letters to non-participating homeowners in the area.  The letters include a contract titled “SOLAR PROJECT GOOD NEIGHBOR AGREEMENT”.
Non-participating homeowners affected by the solar project are offered $1,000 annually for the life of the project (35 years) but in return for signing the agreement the homeowner: 

“Waives any claims against the Developer resulting from such Effects (of the project or construction of the project) and Owner (homeowner) agrees not to, directly or indirectly, interfere with or seek to delay the development, permitting, construction or operation of the Project or any activities related to or affiliated with the Project and Owner will not join or encourage any opposition to the development, construction, or operation of Project or any activities related to or affiliated with the Project.”

And if a homeowner received this letter it’s probably safe to assume that land adjacent to their property has been leased as it further states:

“In the event Developer constructs any Solar Facilities within 300 feet from the foundation of any existing residence on the Property, Developer shall pay to Owner annual payments in the amount of $1,000 (“Good Neighbor Payment”) during the Term of the Agreement.  If no Solar Facilities are constructed within 300 feet from the foundation of any existing residence on the Property, no compensation shall be due.”

So theoretically, a homeowner could sign this agreement, the solar developer could install solar facilities say 301′ instead of 299′ away from the homeowner’s house (not property line) and the homeowner would receive nothing – but the homeowner has still forfeited their right to oppose the project or hold the solar developer accountable for any “impacts” to their property.  This sounds like non-participating homeowners (those who have not leased their land for solar development) are basically being paid to comply and keep quiet. Perfectly legal. But not logically sound for a homeowner.

Websters standard dictionary: hush money[ˈhəSH ˈˌmənē]NOUN informal

  1. money paid to someone to prevent them from disclosing embarrassing or discreditable information.

What do you think?

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